The Missouri mayor who spoke kindly of the white supremacist who allegedly went on a deadly shooting rampage at Jewish centers announced his resignation Monday night, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Daniel Clevenger resigned as mayor of Marionville, Mo. at a town meeting after residents called for his impeachment over comments he made in support of Frazier Glenn Miller, the man accused of killing three people at Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan.
Clevenger, who used to consider the alleged shooter a friend, told a local television station after the tragedy that he “kind of agreed” with some of the white supremacist’s views. After that comment drew negative attention, Clevenger told TPM he was done talking about Miller.
The former mayor told the News-Leader after that he did regret sending an anti-Semitic letter to the editor to a local newspaper 10 years ago. He wouldn’t tell that newspaper whether he regretted his more recent comments, but said that Marionville residents’ characterizing him as anti-Semitic did hurt him personally.
The town meeting itself was “raucous,” according to the News-Leader, and residents spoke out overwhelmingly for either Clevenger’s resignation or impeachment.
When one man present at the meeting said that he hadn’t seen a single black man after living in Marionville for a year, Dan Noyes left the room to bring his son-in-law, who is black, back to the meeting. Noyes wanted to prove that the city of 2,250 people did indeed have at least one black resident.
Another woman present at the meeting offered “I personally know and love a Jew. I have a grandson who is Jewish.”
At least one of Clevenger’s supporters did speak out — Gene Smith accused the media of “twisting” Clevenger’s statements. He later hit a News-Leader reporter with his crutch when asked for his picture to be taken.
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.